Body Dysmorphia

I am thrilled to announce that for the first time in my life, my chest measurement is smaller than my hip measurement, an accomplishment I’m not sure many men around the world would be proud to admit. A Cyclist has no use for an upper body, we’re not going about lifting things with our arms; we are the sort of people who do all our lifting with our legs. We just need enough to hold the handlebars and pull from time to time while chewing the bar tape; beyond that, upper bodies are little more than extra weight and I’ve got more of that than I need already.

When I boasted about this tremendous feat to a few work colleagues, none of them showed any appreciation for my accomplishment whatsoever. Mostly they looked at me askance, not unlike how my dog looks at me when I’m talking to her in complete sentences. I could sense them resisting the temptation to start rotating their heads until they fell over like she does. The most any of them could muster was joking about how I must look at the beach, at which point I returned the favor of not having a clue what they were on about. Honestly, I’m much more worried about looking good in my skinsuit than I am about looking good in my mankini.

The first thing one observes when meeting Pro Cyclists is how tiny they are; they look like normal folks on TV but when you see them in real life they look like birds with a gland problem. Alpine ski racers also look like normal people on TV, but when you see them in person you realize they are thrice the size of a normal person, plus two. Either of Bode Miller’s arms are bigger than my right gun, the bigger of the two.

Kate Moss said that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Apparently even Kate Moss couldn’t go her whole life without saying something sensible eventually. Being light on a bike is an amazing feeling, and we sacrifice all socially acceptable aesthetics in this pursuit. To be skinny is also to look good on a bike; hunching over a top tube chewing our handlebars isn’t a terribly flattering posture to begin with, one not made any more appealing with a gut protruding into the void.

I’ve never heard a Cyclist say they are happy with their weight, or that they feel they are skinny enough. No matter how skinny we are, we are still too fat. Most Cyclists greet each other with a little pinch on the arm to gauge one another’s weight – the first intimidation of the ride or the first bit of morale, depending on which side of the pinch you are. “Cyclists’ Sizing” is a phenomenon where a rider needs to wear their bibshorts a size bigger than their jersey. This is the maximum body image goal of the Cyclist, to have massive guns and a tiny torso.

I’m on the train, but I’m not there yet. To hasten the journey, I fancy the 5am Spanish Turbo Session in full leggings, long sleeve jersey, and casquette in order to kick start my metabolism in the morning. And then I skip breakfast and lunch. And dinner, if I can manage it. I prefer to cut calories out of my food diet than out of my drinking diet; success is all about setting attainable goals.

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127 Replies to “Body Dysmorphia”

  1. @Teocalli

    Some years ago I was told by my Chiropractor when I commented on me getting a bit podgy from too much jam rolly polly in the canteen he replied that “it’s not what you eat but when you eat it”. His message was basically no carbs in the evening.

    So when I needed to lose weight after a mystery illness followed by enforced layoff through injury I followed that method and cut out “white carbs” in the evenings (potato, rice, pasta, bread) and also cut out snacking. Riding 3 – 4 times a week clocking average 170 – 200 Km total it was quite easy to shed weight.

    Turns out there is solid science behind this as shown in a TV programme last night. Our bodies naturally increase fat and sugar levels in our blood in the evenings to feed our body overnight. So if you eat later in the evenings your blood levels effectively double up and so with excess sugars and fat your body has little option but to lay down the excess on your ribs.

    The problem we have in modern life is that it is often difficult to eat well at midday and we tend to eat easy food in the evening (pizza/pasta – white carbs) then sit in front of the TV and go to bed.

    Ideally whatever you eat when you get home in the evening you should do as soon as possible. Great evening meal for me is smoked salmon steak (or other oily fish) on a bed of salad in the summer or stir fried veg in the winter. In general now I try to avoid white carbs in the evenings altogether.

    Yeah, I’ve heard that too. I try not to eat after 8pm at the latest. Biggest issue is the long winter evenings. Too cold and dark to get outside and the warmth of the house and the TV are just too condusive to snacking mindlessly. (Not that I do, cough, cough . . .)

  2. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    Yeah, I’ve heard that too. I try not to eat after 8pm at the latest. Biggest issue is the long winter evenings. Too cold and dark to get outside and the warmth of the house and the TV are just too condusive to snacking mindlessly. (Not that I do, cough, cough . . .)

    Doesn’t count as a snack if you have it with a beer. Fact.

     

  3. Is that the ghost of Axel Merckx haunting the lads in the lead photo?

    Funny timing with this. After a good block of years doing nothing more than cycling and futbol, I’ve officially lost enough bulky muscle mass from years of sports-related weight training that I’m now doing a mid-work day weights circuit twice a week.

    I’m 5 kg lighter than my playing weight in college, but I have no interest in looking like a professional cyclist. Happy to care some light muscle, plus I’ll have to be carrying a baby soon, so I need to retrain the upper guns a bit!

  4. For getting weight down, I’ve always found that eating every three hours works for me. It’s a pretty small window, so if you stick to the schedule and have overeaten, it’ll be uncomfortable to eat again in three hours. A very good reminder to eat just enough.

    Plus, I started doing this religiously with my first post-college desk job and it really helps the workday fly by. Even if you like your job, that’s not a bad thing.

  5. @wiscot

    @ErikdR

    @KBrooks

    This is the beauty of hardcore touring/bikepacking. If you ride long enough, day after day, you can scour the aisles of the Quik-E-Mart for the highest-calorie snacks and stop at every roadside barbecue joint and still lose weight. Sometimes alarmingly.

    F***ing spot on, Bevan! In the summer of 2014, I cycled across the eastern USA: anything between 90 and 160 km. per day – 6 days a week, for 4 weeks. The trip was fully catered and the chow was tasty and substantial, to say the least. I munched my way through ridiculous amounts of food – and came home 6 kg lighter than when I left and looking trim. That didn’t last more than a few weeks, though…

    A few years back a two girl band called The Ditty Bops played Milwaukee. They were riding their bikes between gigs while someone else drove the van. It was a national tour. Those girls were ripped!

    I’ll bet they were. Being in a Human Powered traveling road show would do that to you, I reckon.

    A national tour! So these ladies actually crisscrossed the U.S. on bikes? That’s certainly worthy of respect.

  6. @ErikdR

    @wiscot

    @ErikdR

    @KBrooks

    This is the beauty of hardcore touring/bikepacking. If you ride long enough, day after day, you can scour the aisles of the Quik-E-Mart for the highest-calorie snacks and stop at every roadside barbecue joint and still lose weight. Sometimes alarmingly.

    F***ing spot on, Bevan! In the summer of 2014, I cycled across the eastern USA: anything between 90 and 160 km. per day – 6 days a week, for 4 weeks. The trip was fully catered and the chow was tasty and substantial, to say the least. I munched my way through ridiculous amounts of food – and came home 6 kg lighter than when I left and looking trim. That didn’t last more than a few weeks, though…

    A few years back a two girl band called The Ditty Bops played Milwaukee. They were riding their bikes between gigs while someone else drove the van. It was a national tour. Those girls were ripped!

    I’ll bet they were. Being in a Human Powered traveling road show would do that to you, I reckon.

    A national tour! So these ladies actually crisscrossed the U.S. on bikes? That’s certainly worthy of respect.

    From May 23 through September 2, 2006, the Ditty Bops embarked on a cross-country tour by bicycle to promote the release of their second album, Moon Over the Freeway, while advocating a call-to-action about pollution and energy conservation. They traveled from Los Angeles to New York City, logging 4,502.75 miles.[6]

  7. Universal truth here.

    I’m lighter than I have been since my early 20’s – 80kg @185 cm and yet I am still plagued by thoughts of how effortlessly I would climb if only I could lose a few more…

    And if I am to be honest with myself, there is very clearly a few more pounds around the mid-section that could go. The truth that I have come to see is that those pounds only go with a change in diet and that is a difficult change for me to make. I think it would be easier if food wasn’t the last addiction left to me…

  8. I find that while it’s a struggle on a personal level, it’s also hard on a social level. “Oh, you ride your bike so much, you can eat whatever you like! Why won’t you have some more of X food?”

    Because the lighter I am, the better I perform on that bike! When I started I was 5 ft 6 and 11 stone, and it was hellish. It’s so much easier at 9 stone. I sometimes point out my guns and that usually stops them, but it can be mentally draining to hear such things.

  9. @Puffy

    Your BMI is 18.6. BMI’s below 20 and above 23-ish have a higher mortality rate. Eat and live up to your name, you’re far from Puffy.

    Oh, and btw, I would be in the other unhealthy BMI category unfortunately: CWFMW in summer but right now probably TFTC

  10. At my peak last season I was down as low as 52kg. I’d guess this winter, I’m up to 54kg or so. Still thin for 167cm, and surprisingly, cutting down from 2500-3000/cal per day wasn’t too hard. But, I’m with @Teocalli on the snacking. Ordinarily I’d just be getting home from a ride around 7:00 pm. Now at that time it’s already been dark for hours, I’m being drawn towards the couch, and may or may not be on my second beer.

  11. @Teocalli

    Some years ago I was told by my Chiropractor when I commented on me getting a bit podgy from too much jam rolly polly in the canteen he replied that “it’s not what you eat but when you eat it”. His message was basically no carbs in the evening.

    So when I needed to lose weight after a mystery illness followed by enforced layoff through injury I followed that method and cut out “white carbs” in the evenings (potato, rice, pasta, bread) and also cut out snacking. Riding 3 – 4 times a week clocking average 170 – 200 Km total it was quite easy to shed weight.

    Turns out there is solid science behind this as shown in a TV programme last night. Our bodies naturally increase fat and sugar levels in our blood in the evenings to feed our body overnight. So if you eat later in the evenings your blood levels effectively double up and so with excess sugars and fat your body has little option but to lay down the excess on your ribs.

    The problem we have in modern life is that it is often difficult to eat well at midday and we tend to eat easy food in the evening (pizza/pasta – white carbs) then sit in front of the TV and go to bed.

    Ideally whatever you eat when you get home in the evening you should do as soon as possible. Great evening meal for me is smoked salmon steak (or other oily fish) on a bed of salad in the summer or stir fried veg in the winter. In general now I try to avoid white carbs in the evenings altogether.

    Good information. I can use this while serving time in the ciclismo prison, lockdown — day 3.

  12. @Amanda

    I find that while it’s a struggle on a personal level, it’s also hard on a social level. “Oh, you ride your bike so much, you can eat whatever you like! Why won’t you have some more of X food?”

    Because the lighter I am, the better I perform on that bike! When I started I was 5 ft 6 and 11 stone, and it was hellish. It’s so much easier at 9 stone. I sometimes point out my guns and that usually stops them, but it can be mentally draining to hear such things.

    Tell me about it. I work with mostly women, most of whom do not exercise at all. Because of my bike addiction and gym work in the winter, they regard me as the human garbage disposal unit. “Oh, Wiscot’ll (not my real name!) eat it, he rides a 100 miles every day.” Not true of course, but I do exercise more than 90% of the staff combined. I long to say “you could eat more too if you did some exercise. In fact, I had this conversation just yesterday with a colleague who swam competitively in college. She’s pregnant right now but is dying to get back to running. She totally gets the calories in/calories out dynamic.

  13. @Sparty

    @ErikdR

    @wiscot

    @ErikdR

    @KBrooks

    This is the beauty of hardcore touring/bikepacking. If you ride long enough, day after day, you can scour the aisles of the Quik-E-Mart for the highest-calorie snacks and stop at every roadside barbecue joint and still lose weight. Sometimes alarmingly.

    F***ing spot on, Bevan! In the summer of 2014, I cycled across the eastern USA: anything between 90 and 160 km. per day – 6 days a week, for 4 weeks. The trip was fully catered and the chow was tasty and substantial, to say the least. I munched my way through ridiculous amounts of food – and came home 6 kg lighter than when I left and looking trim. That didn’t last more than a few weeks, though…

    A few years back a two girl band called The Ditty Bops played Milwaukee. They were riding their bikes between gigs while someone else drove the van. It was a national tour. Those girls were ripped!

    I’ll bet they were. Being in a Human Powered traveling road show would do that to you, I reckon.

    A national tour! So these ladies actually crisscrossed the U.S. on bikes? That’s certainly worthy of respect.

    From May 23 through September 2, 2006, the Ditty Bops embarked on a cross-country tour by bicycle to promote the release of their second album, Moon Over the Freeway, while advocating a call-to-action about pollution and energy conservation. They traveled from Los Angeles to New York City, logging 4,502.75 miles.[6]

    Fantastic! The Ditty Bops sound like my kind of gals (or should that be: ‘my kinds of gal’?)

  14. @Teocalli “Turns out there is solid science behind this as shown in a TV programme last night”

    Ah, that’s a bit of an oxymoron: solid science/TV show. Animal studies would suggest otherwise. Monkey’s fed an identical diet, one in the morning allowing them the entire day to eat it, versus another group fed all their food immediately before they went to sleep found no change or difference in their weights over many weeks. When the studies have been done on people, the people who ate most of their calories late at night snacked more during the day (which accounted for any weight gain). The danger of eating right before bed is that is adversely affects sleep quality which appears to trigger cravings for salt and carbohydrates (like pizza, chips and other crap). That said, you can only store so much of what you eat as glycogen (excesses consumption goes to fat production) which is the trick sumo wrestlers employ for their weight gain. This is why amounts eaten (day or night) matter. Sadly, alcohol at night has the same effect on sleep.

    Thus ends my portion of the nerd throw-down.

     

  15. @davidlhill

    Good lord – I went from 95kg down to 82 (currently a smidge higher), I’m 188cm and can’t imagine losing 17kg.All that due to more cycling?

    Yes, and making better/healthier food choices, portion control when it comes to treats.

    I never aimed for that low. I got to about 75 and still had spare tyre/belly fat so hired a sports nutritionist. He actually had me eating more food generally but changed my eating from reactive, to proactive; from “I rode long today so I need to eat” to “I am riding long tomorrow so I need to eat”. I was eating too much on days when I wouldn’t burn it all off the next day.

  16. @KogaLover

    Your BMI is 18.6. BMI’s below 20 and above 23-ish have a higher mortality rate. Eat and live up to your name, you’re far from Puffy.

    No, not puffy these days! As to BMI, it depends on who you talk to. According to the local authorities I am right in the bottom of their healthy range and could actually go down to 63kg. Due to my work in the Coal mining industry I get very thorough medials every year. Going through one this week actually. Not once has an examiner said anything about my weight (trust me, they pic at anything so they would have it was an issue). I still carry a small amount of belly & hip fat so I am not as skinny as the folks at the top of the page that is for sure. Thing is, BMI is just a rough guide. Personally the best guide is the mirror because bodies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I just happen to be naturally ectomorphic. Like I keep telling folks – trust me, I eat heaps.

  17. @Teocalli

    Ideally whatever you eat when you get home in the evening you should do as soon as possible. Great evening meal for me is smoked salmon steak (or other oily fish) on a bed of salad in the summer or stir fried veg in the winter. In general now I try to avoid white carbs in the evenings altogether.

    150g meat and two-three cups of veggies every night for dinner. No carbs unless 2hrs plus workout the next day. In that case I add a cup of rice. Works for me. Veggies are great, you can basically eat as much as you can stuff into your face and you won’t gain a gram from them. Awesome!

  18. On the subject of diet, eating anything because you can, and eating healthily are two separate things.

    My diet is terrible, I live on processed carbs during training. Reading the literature says they are the best fuels and refuels.

    But it really is an unhealthy way to eat. Too lazy to make up a batch of brown rice, a can of creamed rice will suffice, except it is full of total garbage and your insulin is spiking all over the fucking place. I hate myself.

    I’m trying a new regime where I don’t refuel after rides as much. I used to make excuses that my body needed it, so I’d eat up big the day before, on the day, and the day after a big ride. Now I try stick to clean carbs and lean protein the day before, and after a ride is protein shake and a can of pop in the magic 1 hour recovery window (2 cans if its over 120k). Then normal diet thereafter.

    I also try and eat real food on the bike rather than gels. I’ve done my numbers and know how short of carbs etc I am at the end of a ride too, so a refuel meal calories = Calories burnt-calories consumed on the bike. I had mistaken refuelling all the calories burnt on the bike as needing replacement, forgetting I was stuffing my face every 20minutes out there!

    Anyway, you bastards are all skinny fucks. No wonder I can’t climb. 1.8m and 80kg. I’ve been 76kg before, but I hit overtraing/lack of recovery as highlighted above, and I got sick at least once a month. The month I had that overtraining, I seriously thought I had a significant illness, it was ridiculous.

    Eat for health, exercise for fitness.

     

  19. @PT

    @wilburrox

    @frank

    @fignons barber

    The point is even those guys were way skinnier than you’d think. Look at Boonen. One of the biggest guys easily, and he’s still tiny by any normal measure.

    They look big on bikes it is in part because they like to ride really small bikes.

    Although Boonen is also apparently 6’4″. Terpstra is no shorty either. They ride smaller frames than most of us would if we were the same height because they handle better and weigh less.

    @Frank -you’re right in general but…..Peter Sagan?

    So why would most us not ride bikes that handle better and weigh less?

  20. @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    Yeah, I’ve heard that too. I try not to eat after 8pm at the latest. Biggest issue is the long winter evenings. Too cold and dark to get outside and the warmth of the house and the TV are just too condusive to snacking mindlessly. (Not that I do, cough, cough . . .)

    Doesn’t count as a snack if you have it with a beer. Fact.

    Precisely. And make it a good dark tasty Guinness and it qualifies as a healthy meal in prep for whatever the next day will bring.

    The whole business of going to bed hungry? Too many people in the world do that due to unfortunate circumstances.

  21. @KBrooks

    This is the beauty of hardcore touring/bikepacking. If you ride long enough, day after day, you can scour the aisles of the Quik-E-Mart for the highest-calorie snacks and stop at every roadside barbecue joint and still lose weight. Sometimes alarmingly.

    My VMH gets mad that I grab a Twinkie whenever I/we stop at a certain gas station outside of town. I just keep telling her those things are rocket fuel.

  22. 183 cm and 88 kg because I got lazy after a summer filled with smoke and blowing dust (half the damn state burned down and I live in a crap-concentrating bowl), followed by freezing rain, followed by a chest cold. My goal is to drop a full 11 kg by summer, but it’s going to take some serious willpower. I’ve already cut out alcohol during the week, and keep dinners to moderate portions of lean meat and vegetables. I’m moving to the west (i.e. hilly) side of the state this summer, which means my too fat to climb ass is in for a world of hurt otherwise.

    But hell if I’m going to cut out breakfast. Need fuel for the furnace.

  23. In addition to the rhesus monkey study (one of multiple studies) debunking the carbs at night thing there’s also multiple studies that suggest that multiple small portions aren’t necessarily better for you than three larger (though still appropriately sized) portions. So basically a beer before bed is no more fattening or detrimental to you metabolism than a breakfast beer.

  24. @wilburrox

    @PT

    @wilburrox

    @frank

    @fignons barber

    The point is even those guys were way skinnier than you’d think. Look at Boonen. One of the biggest guys easily, and he’s still tiny by any normal measure.

    They look big on bikes it is in part because they like to ride really small bikes.

    Although Boonen is also apparently 6’4″. Terpstra is no shorty either. They ride smaller frames than most of us would if we were the same height because they handle better and weigh less.

    @Frank -you’re right in general but…..Peter Sagan?

    So why would most us not ride bikes that handle better and weigh less?

    Well, those who can, do.  I think we’re agreeing here aren’t we?

  25. This thread has obviously inspired my metabolism, down to 85kgs this morning. Night time hill climbing club with the racing snakes probably helped last night.

  26. Another thought on the top photo – those guys look skinny, particularly in their upper bodies. But I bet they are strong as fuck. Wouldn’t like to arm wrestle Boonen.

  27. Not to hijack the thread, but what race or event are Boonen and his buddies at? A crit? Can’t be a major stage race, can it? It’s just that seeing three top pros getting ready or cleaning up (I think it’s the latter) on the steps of a building on a sidewalk is pretty cool. Wouldn’t see yer fancy NBA or MLB boys doing that.

  28. Great piece here. I can identify with what a lot of you all have said. I’ve always been naturally pretty thin and lanky in a “societal” view at 6′ tall and approx. 145 pounds. I always get the same line from friends and coworkers that I must/should/MUST eat piles and piles of food.  It has been my opinion that I’m actually a bit on the flabby side in a cycling sense. My wife reminds me that I’m absurd in that view and that if I really wanted to lose a few maybe I should cut back on my beer consumption. BLASPHEMY! I haven’t been able to see pro-riders @ the world tour level in person but when I see pro-continental riders or even local cat-1/cat-2 riders I’m always struck by how lean even they are.

  29. @Puffy

    @the Engine

    Play water polo in your spare time – that’ll sort your core. As a bonus you can have a fight to burn testosterone.

    I chased the kids around on this for an hour on Tuesday (two days ago) and my abs are still reminding me about it at time. Still can foam roll properly! Awesome for core and balance not to mention a heap of fun. I’ve told them we can now go every weekend and I will be calling it cross training for now on.

    “I don’t cross train. I train for ‘cross.” – @G’rilla

  30. Just a thought here re the opening line.  Lampre man looks as though he might be able to claim the same?

  31. @wiscot

    Not to hijack the thread, but what race or event are Boonen and his buddies at? A crit? Can’t be a major stage race, can it? It’s just that seeing three top pros getting ready or cleaning up (I think it’s the latter) on the steps of a building on a sidewalk is pretty cool. Wouldn’t see yer fancy NBA or MLB boys doing that.

    Axel Merckx Kermesse, hoping if they sit long enough on his front steps he’ll come out, with Eddy?

    And YES that is something I love about smaller sports, like cycling. While we consider them gods, they’re still accessible gods. Too many pro athletes live in odd fantasy worlds where they’re so far removed from reality because of the money involved.

  32. @Ron

    @wiscot

    Not to hijack the thread, but what race or event are Boonen and his buddies at? A crit? Can’t be a major stage race, can it? It’s just that seeing three top pros getting ready or cleaning up (I think it’s the latter) on the steps of a building on a sidewalk is pretty cool. Wouldn’t see yer fancy NBA or MLB boys doing that.

    Axel Merckx Kermesse, hoping if they sit long enough on his front steps he’ll come out, with Eddy?

    And YES that is something I love about smaller sports, like cycling. While we consider them gods, they’re still accessible gods. Too many pro athletes live in odd fantasy worlds where they’re so far removed from reality because of the money involved.

    It’s one of the things I love about the Packers. They have a tradition that at training camp they ride kids’ bikes to practice and the kid carries the helmet!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF4pLeSPBYo

    Ignore the Rules violations and the general “wobbliness” of the riders!

  33. I’m involved with cycling advocacy in my city and trying to get the local AAA baseball team to all ride bikes to their games a few times a season is something I think would be excellent for spreading the word that cycling is awesome and that cyclists aren’t the same as squirrels. We’re regular folks, with jobs and taxes, but we just choose to ride bikes.

    There are campaigns like this going on throughout the U.S., showing fire*men* and other types of “regulars” who ride bikes, as a way to get motorists to treat 2-wheeled folks with more respect.

    A local crazy lady in the neighboring county is trying to get more than 2-abreast riding banned by law (couldn’t have a 2-wide paceline with rotations), cyclists NEVER allowed to take full lane (so you’d never be allowed to turn…left!), and any ride with more than 30 riders would require a permit. FACK. The (kinda) funny thing is she’s a yankee transplant and gets annoyed when she has to slow down while driving on her country road.

  34. It is funny how media can change your perception of the people you’re looking at or watching on TV, or in photos. Living in Portland, and having a job that’s allowed me to meet some professional basketball players, and a couple pro footballers, you really don’t get a sense of just how tall (or fucking huge) those athletes are. I ran into Scotty Pippen at a Mini Mart one morning, around 10am, and in addition to just how tall he was (and holy Merckx, his hands were like baseball gloves), I had to give him a ribbing about his choice of snacks- a ‘roller’ corndog, and a diet soda. Took care of a offensive lineman for the Bills, just after the Super Bowl- Couldn’t put the bed rails up he was so huge- not fat, just a truckload of muscle that would crush folk in our chosen sport (but of course, when watching on TV you think “well, I don’t know how that linebacker got through, I’da just ran right over him.” Nonsense)

    Based on a number of “Ideal Weight Calculators”, I should have weighed between 156- 167lbs (for my height 5’10”). Right. I’da lost my shit if I got anywhere near 155. 145 with a peaking weight of 142 was where I lived through my 20’s.

    But, I’m not in my 20’s anymore…………..

     

  35. @Major VVald

    @frank

    I like to think my chest is larger than my waist because of my humongous lung capacity and my outsized pumper.

    One takes the chest measurement after exhaling, biensur.

    Although I always need trousers a couple inches too big in the waist to fit over the legs. As a result, I don’t tuck my shirts in much – it would just accentuate the bunched fabric under the belt and make people think I don’t know how to buy clothes. Looks super ridiculous when I have to wear a suit to work. The tailor lady says “not to be rude, but you have a big butt.” Made my day.

    Get a new tailor; that bunching bullshit is inexcusable. If Mario can get his clothes to fit right, then so can you!

  36. @Teocalli

    (potato, rice, pasta, bread)

    You just described everything I like to eat in the evening, apart from beer which I believe might actually be made of all those things.

    @brett

    @frank

    @fignons barber

    The point is even those guys were way skinnier than you’d think. Look at Boonen. One of the biggest guys easily, and he’s still tiny by any normal measure.

    Remember when we met Damian Gaudin last Spring? He looks like a monster on the bike, but standing next to him he was quite lean, not much taller than me (183cm) and not much going on up top in terms of arms and chest.

    LIke it was yesterday, bruv!

  37. @PT

    @wilburrox

    @frank

    @fignons barber

    The point is even those guys were way skinnier than you’d think. Look at Boonen. One of the biggest guys easily, and he’s still tiny by any normal measure.

    They look big on bikes it is in part because they like to ride really small bikes.

    Although Boonen is also apparently 6’4″. Terpstra is no shorty either. They ride smaller frames than most of us would if we were the same height because they handle better and weigh less.

    @Frank -you’re right in general but…..Peter Sagan?

    Haven’t met him in person but I bet you’d still be surprised.

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    Some years ago I was told by my Chiropractor when I commented on me getting a bit podgy from too much jam rolly polly in the canteen he replied that “it’s not what you eat but when you eat it”. His message was basically no carbs in the evening.

    So when I needed to lose weight after a mystery illness followed by enforced layoff through injury I followed that method and cut out “white carbs” in the evenings (potato, rice, pasta, bread) and also cut out snacking. Riding 3 – 4 times a week clocking average 170 – 200 Km total it was quite easy to shed weight.

    Turns out there is solid science behind this as shown in a TV programme last night. Our bodies naturally increase fat and sugar levels in our blood in the evenings to feed our body overnight. So if you eat later in the evenings your blood levels effectively double up and so with excess sugars and fat your body has little option but to lay down the excess on your ribs.

    The problem we have in modern life is that it is often difficult to eat well at midday and we tend to eat easy food in the evening (pizza/pasta – white carbs) then sit in front of the TV and go to bed.

    Ideally whatever you eat when you get home in the evening you should do as soon as possible. Great evening meal for me is smoked salmon steak (or other oily fish) on a bed of salad in the summer or stir fried veg in the winter. In general now I try to avoid white carbs in the evenings altogether.

    Yeah, I’ve heard that too. I try not to eat after 8pm at the latest. Biggest issue is the long winter evenings. Too cold and dark to get outside and the warmth of the house and the TV are just too condusive to snacking mindlessly. (Not that I do, cough, cough . . .)

    You all know how old that shit makes us sound, right?

  38. @Sparty

    @ErikdR

    @wiscot

    @ErikdR

    @KBrooks

    This is the beauty of hardcore touring/bikepacking. If you ride long enough, day after day, you can scour the aisles of the Quik-E-Mart for the highest-calorie snacks and stop at every roadside barbecue joint and still lose weight. Sometimes alarmingly.

    F***ing spot on, Bevan! In the summer of 2014, I cycled across the eastern USA: anything between 90 and 160 km. per day – 6 days a week, for 4 weeks. The trip was fully catered and the chow was tasty and substantial, to say the least. I munched my way through ridiculous amounts of food – and came home 6 kg lighter than when I left and looking trim. That didn’t last more than a few weeks, though…

    A few years back a two girl band called The Ditty Bops played Milwaukee. They were riding their bikes between gigs while someone else drove the van. It was a national tour. Those girls were ripped!

    I’ll bet they were. Being in a Human Powered traveling road show would do that to you, I reckon.

    A national tour! So these ladies actually crisscrossed the U.S. on bikes? That’s certainly worthy of respect.

    From May 23 through September 2, 2006, the Ditty Bops embarked on a cross-country tour by bicycle to promote the release of their second album, Moon Over the Freeway, while advocating a call-to-action about pollution and energy conservation. They traveled from Los Angeles to New York City, logging 4,502.75 miles.[6]

    *swoon*

    I was joking with some work colleagues today about the Alaskan Cruise tours you can do where you can watch how quickly the glaciers are melting into the ocean.

    The irony of doing so while belching greenhouse gases out of 3-5 enormous smokestacks was not lost on the crowd. The president of my division, even added a gratuitous honk-honk sign like one does to truck drivers to get them to blow their horn.

    Had me some serious job love after that conversation.

  39. @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    Yeah, I’ve heard that too. I try not to eat after 8pm at the latest. Biggest issue is the long winter evenings. Too cold and dark to get outside and the warmth of the house and the TV are just too condusive to snacking mindlessly. (Not that I do, cough, cough . . .)

    Doesn’t count as a snack if you have it with a beer. Fact.

    Yes, and dark chocolate promotes weight loss as well, so have that after dinner along with your digestif.

  40. @wilburrox

    @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    Yeah, I’ve heard that too. I try not to eat after 8pm at the latest. Biggest issue is the long winter evenings. Too cold and dark to get outside and the warmth of the house and the TV are just too condusive to snacking mindlessly. (Not that I do, cough, cough . . .)

    Doesn’t count as a snack if you have it with a beer. Fact.

    Precisely. And make it a good dark tasty Guinness and it qualifies as a healthy meal in prep for whatever the next day will bring.

    The whole business of going to bed hungry? Too many people in the world do that due to unfortunate circumstances.

    I can’t tell you how much hate mail I got as a result of this article, accusing me of promoting anorexia and bulimia which, as a matter of science, I’m not sure I can promote simultaneously.

    But yes, people starve. Doesn’t mean we ease that pain by use being fat fucks.

    Going to bed hungry has been the single most effective way I’ve found to lose weight that I’m willing to engage in, because I’m sure as fuck not cutting out the booze.

  41. @Amanda

    I find that while it’s a struggle on a personal level, it’s also hard on a social level. “Oh, you ride your bike so much, you can eat whatever you like! Why won’t you have some more of X food?”

    Because the lighter I am, the better I perform on that bike! When I started I was 5 ft 6 and 11 stone, and it was hellish. It’s so much easier at 9 stone. I sometimes point out my guns and that usually stops them, but it can be mentally draining to hear such things.

    I don’t understand why you’re carrying all those stones around. Leave them at home, problem solved.

    @wiscot

    Not to hijack the thread, but what race or event are Boonen and his buddies at? A crit? Can’t be a major stage race, can it? It’s just that seeing three top pros getting ready or cleaning up (I think it’s the latter) on the steps of a building on a sidewalk is pretty cool. Wouldn’t see yer fancy NBA or MLB boys doing that.

    Tour de San Luis, 2014. Which is another way of saying it was during “fat season”. (I only know that from the photo’s metadata.)

    @wiscot

    @Ron

    @wiscot

    Not to hijack the thread, but what race or event are Boonen and his buddies at? A crit? Can’t be a major stage race, can it? It’s just that seeing three top pros getting ready or cleaning up (I think it’s the latter) on the steps of a building on a sidewalk is pretty cool. Wouldn’t see yer fancy NBA or MLB boys doing that.

    Axel Merckx Kermesse, hoping if they sit long enough on his front steps he’ll come out, with Eddy?

    And YES that is something I love about smaller sports, like cycling. While we consider them gods, they’re still accessible gods. Too many pro athletes live in odd fantasy worlds where they’re so far removed from reality because of the money involved.

    It’s one of the things I love about the Packers. They have a tradition that at training camp they ride kids’ bikes to practice and the kid carries the helmet!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF4pLeSPBYo

    Ignore the Rules violations and the general “wobbliness” of the riders!

    They can also take the piss out of themselves pretty fucking well!

  42. @Ron

    You are in the wrong state.

    @scaler911

    It is funny how media can change your perception of the people you’re looking at or watching on TV, or in photos. Living in Portland, and having a job that’s allowed me to meet some professional basketball players, and a couple pro footballers, you really don’t get a sense of just how tall (or fucking huge) those athletes are. I ran into Scotty Pippen at a Mini Mart one morning, around 10am, and in addition to just how tall he was (and holy Merckx, his hands were like baseball gloves), I had to give him a ribbing about his choice of snacks- a ‘roller’ corndog, and a diet soda. Took care of a offensive lineman for the Bills, just after the Super Bowl- Couldn’t put the bed rails up he was so huge- not fat, just a truckload of muscle that would crush folk in our chosen sport (but of course, when watching on TV you think “well, I don’t know how that linebacker got through, I’da just ran right over him.” Nonsense)

    Based on a number of “Ideal Weight Calculators”, I should have weighed between 156- 167lbs (for my height 5’10”). Right. I’da lost my shit if I got anywhere near 155. 145 with a peaking weight of 142 was where I lived through my 20’s.

    But, I’m not in my 20’s anymore…………..

    Some of those football centers do in fact look rather weighty, though.

    TV is the great neutralizer, it seems. In lots of ways?

  43. @frank

    Indeed. There’s a few beer belly’s in the bunch. But if you lined up against them in the 40M, if you’re lucky, it’d be a tie.

    That said, if you and the center of- insert either your favorite, or the name of a, NFL/ College/ high school football team you know, “x” here- were to ride up Haleakala- we all know how that’d end.

  44. @frank

    Merckx knows where we got the whole stone thing from. Wikipedia tells me it’s an old European trade thing and that a stone is roughly 6.5kg.

  45. @Amanda

    A Stone is actually 14 Pounds (Lbs) which is 16 Ounces (Oz) which is 16 Drams (Dr) which is 27.344 Grains (Gr).  Though only in the Avoirdupois measurements, Troys and Apothecaries are a bit different.  All perfectly logical.

  46. @frank

     

    You all know how old that shit makes us sound, right?

    For some of us it starts making us sound young again.

  47. With a steady climb since Oct I now weigh as much as I’ve last weighed in Feb ’13. I’ve enjoyed this winter very much thank you. My plan is to race myself back in to shape. Quickly. Let’s consider it training heavy ! It’ll do me good I’m sure.

    Mind if I send ya some hate mail @frank ?? Hah… just for reminding me while I was having good fun getting fat that it’s time to get my a** back in to shape ? Yea, as if I needed the reminder.

    Cheers all

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